Microsoft Teams launches for friends and family with free all-day video calling

May 18, 2021 - 7:29 AM - by Reverend
Microsoft is launching the personal version of Microsoft Teams today. After previewing the service nearly a year ago, Microsoft Teams is now available for free personal use amongst friends and families. The service itself is almost identical to the Microsoft Teams that businesses use, and it will allow people to chat, video call, and share calendars, locations, and files easily.

Microsoft is also continuing to offer everyone free 24-hour video calls that it introduced in the preview version in November. You’ll be able to meet up with up to 300 people in video calls that can last for 24 hours. Microsoft will eventually enforce limits of 60 minutes for group calls of up to 100 people after the pandemic, but keep 24 hours for 1:1 calls.

While the preview initially launched on iOS and Android, Microsoft Teams for personal use now works across the web, mobile, and desktop apps. Microsoft is also allowing Teams personal users to enable its Together mode — a feature that uses AI to segment your face and shoulders and place you together with other people in a virtual space. Skype got this same feature back in December.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 1 Views


New Google Photos feature makes it easier than ever to search for images

May 18, 2021 - 7:26 AM - by Reverend
Google Photos is one of the most popular photo backup tools out there and its success can be attributed to more than free unlimited backups (only for some time more, though). The service has a powerful search engine that makes finding media as easy as describing it. Now, Google is making this process even easier with the arrival of filters.

While searching for images of a particular person, Photos now offers a row of filters right below the search field. Here, you'll be able to refine your search by selecting media types like videos, selfies, and screenshots. More importantly, you can add other people to your initial search to view images and videos that contain all the people you've selected. It has never been easier to find images of a specific set of people.

It's worth noting that search filters don't really add anything that wasn't possible before. For instance, typing "videos of me and Atreya in Himachal" in the search box already brings up the corresponding results. However, these new filters provide an intuitive visual interface that better markets Photos' powerful search capabilities.

The new filters don't seem to have rolled out widely yet and it's quite likely that it's part of a server-side test. That is, the feature isn't linked to a specific app version of Google Photos. However, you can try your luck out by updating the application on the Google Play Store or grabbing it from APK Mirror.

Android Police
  0 Replies | 1 Views


Instagram users can now add pronouns to their profiles

May 13, 2021 - 9:27 AM - by Reverend
Instagram announced on Monday that is now possible for a user to add pronouns to their profile.

This feature has been long requested for users, and it’s a way to make it easier to address someone by their defined pronoun.

Instagram said this new field is available in a few countries, with plans for more in the future. The social network says this feature is available in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

With this feature on, you can add up to four pronouns to your Instagram profile, which you can then choose to display publicly or only to your followers. The social network says users under 18 will only be able to show their pronouns to their followers.

If this feature isn’t available in your country or specifically for you, it’s possible to fill out a form to have a pronoun added.

Adding pronouns to the user’s profile is already available in other apps, like OkCupid, Lyft, and even Facebook, although the Facebook app limits the options to only he/him, she/her, and they/them.

As for now, Instagram still doens’t have any public plans to roll out this feature to more countries.

9to5Mac
  0 Replies | 277 Views


WhatsApp will limit accounts that don’t accept new privacy policy

May 11, 2021 - 8:12 AM - by Reverend
There is no stopping WhatsApp’s, really Facebook’s, changes to its privacy policy despite the immense backlash from its own users as well as privacy advocates. The bottom line remains that if you want to keep using WhatsApp, you’ll have to agree to share some of your data with Facebook, despite WhatsApp bragging about its privacy-focused operations. You won’t, however, immediately lose access to your account after the May 15th deadline if you don’t agree to that policy but you will slowly see yourself pushed out of the service until you do.

Originally scheduled for earlier this year, WhatsApp decided to delay implementing its controversial privacy policy change until most of its users are already used to the idea. Rather than change its course, WhatsApp spent that time notifying users about its changes, at least those users who haven’t moved to new messaging services in the meantime.

WhatsApp will instead limit the functionality that users will have access to until they agree to the new privacy policy. At first, users won’t be able to access their chat lists but they can still access some basic functionality. They will still be able to receive incoming phone and video calls and they will be able to reply to messages from notifications.

After a few weeks, however, WhatsApp will completely remove even those functions and will stop sending users calls or messages. The only thing that users will be able to do is to download their data and leave WhatsApp. Alternatively, they can also accept the new privacy policy to return to Facebook’s good graces.

WhatsApp clarifies that it won’t be deleting user accounts just because they don’t accept that privacy policy. That said, it warns users that it does have a separate policy that will automatically delete inactive... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 211 Views


Facebook to Nudge Users to Read a News Article Before Sharing It Online

May 11, 2021 - 8:10 AM - by Reverend
To prevent misinformation from going viral, Facebook is testing out a function that’ll tell you to first read a news article before re-sharing it online.

“Starting today, we’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles,” the company said. “If you go to share a news article link you haven’t opened, we’ll show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it, before sharing it with others.”

The social network posted a screenshot of the function, which shows the “read before you share” pop-up appearing on a user’s Facebook app. “Sharing articles without reading them may mean missing key facts,” the prompt goes on to say.

If the function sounds familiar, that’s because Twitter tested the exact same system last June. To promote healthy discussion on the platform, Twitter began asking users to first read an article they’ve yet to click on before re-tweeting the story to the public.

The “read before you retweet” pop-up was successful enough that Twitter in September decided to roll out the function to all users. During the test, the company found that people opened the articles 40% more often after seeing the prompt. The function also led to a 33% increase in people clicking on the article link before retweeting.

However, the read-before-you-share system from both Facebook and Twitter basically amounts to a pop-up—not a restriction. You can ignore the prompt and repost a news article, regardless if you read it or not.

Facebook didn’t say how widely it would be testing the prompt. But in recent months, the company has been working to reduce the amount of political content on the platform, citing input from the public.

“One of the top pieces of feedback that we are hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in January. “So,... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 213 Views


RIP Windows 95 Icons

May 06, 2021 - 10:21 PM - by Reverend
Bits and pieces of Microsoft’s sweeping aesthetic changes to Windows 10, codenamed Sun Valley, have dropped over the last few months. The OS is getting support for the Advanced Audio Codec (AAC) codec over Bluetooth, new folder icons, and reportedly a much-needed overhaul to its Microsoft Store user interface. But Microsoft is also finally getting rid of remnants of Windows 95 that have somehow stuck around for 25 years: custom folder icons.

According to Windows Latest, the Sun Valley update expected later this year modernizes the extra folder icons in the Shell32.DLL module, the module that’s existed in all Windows operating systems since Windows 95. If you’re unsure what those are, create a new folder on your Windows 10 desktop. Right click on it, go to Properties, click on the Customize tab, and then click on the Change Icon button at the bottom. That tiny window that pops up with all those icons? Those have been around since the mid-’90s, and are soon getting a facelift.

Microsoft has quietly made subtle changes to a few of those icons over the years, but nothing as robust has what’s coming to Windows 10. Classic icons like the hibernation monitor and floppy disks look totally different, although modernized to match the style of the new Drive and Recycle Bin desktop icons in the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21343.

Gizmodo
  0 Replies | 393 Views


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